When I read The Daily 5 text by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser last year, I was instantly a fan. I knew I wanted to implement this structure into my Literacy Program. I was overwhelmed with the success of the program with my Preps last year and I look forward to another year of the Daily 5 in my Prep classroom again this year. I adapted the Daily 5 to suit my children, my timetable and my teaching philosophy. I think it will be best explained as a step-by-step process.We spend the first 6 weeks of the year getting to know one another and setting classroom routines and expectations. During these first 6 weeks, I model correct reading behaviours every day. We read Big Books, predictive emergent readers and as many literary texts as I can squeeze into the day. We constantly talk about the 3 ways to read a book. I made a little Anchor Chart to reinforce the 3 ways to read a book.
You can download it
Then I introduce Read to Self. I follow the steps outlined in the Daily 5 text. Each child is given a book box. I use Magazine Holders as they are light and easy for the children to manage. They are quite strong and usually last us the year. Each child chooses 4 readers for their book boxes.
We talk about good-fit books but I have found this concept to be a bit “above” them and for ease of management, I provide a large selection of readers at their appropriate reading level and they can only choose books from their specific level.At the beginning of the year, most of the children are Emergent readers and are reading simple predictive texts. I put out the PM Starters we have already read in class during Guided Reading, I put out little copies of the Big Books we have shared along with the class books we have made together. I also put out all my home made readers. You can purchase some of these in my shop here. Supplying the children with enough readers was my biggest challenge last year and I spent many weekends and late nights making readers.At the beginning, we spend more time watching and discussing the modelling of a good Read to Self than actually reading – but this is so important for setting the ground rules and getting the children ready to read independently. Our first day this year we made it to 20 seconds! I write the time up on a sticky note next to the 3 Ways to Read a Book Chart and we refer to it each day just before they set off. At the end of Read to Self, they put their book boxes away and return to the carpet eager to find out if they have “broken their record”. Usually they do and the room erupts with cheers. Some days we go backwards and you should see the honest disappointment on their faces.We do Read to Self every day, straight after first break. Slowly, slowly, they build their stamina. It took us nearly 3 weeks to reach 5 minutes (our first goal) and they nearly lifted the roof that day. Honestly, their enthusiasm is contagious – I love teaching Prep. Once they reach 5 min, I can finally start my conferencing. At this early stage, I simply sit with one child and listen to them read a story. We might discuss finger pointing or picture clues but it is pretty informal and I must say it is a dream sitting in a quiet Prep classroom where everyone is on task and I have the pleasure of sitting one-on-one with a little beginning reader. Did I mention I love teaching Prep?Our stamina grows and just before the holidays, we reached 10 minutes (our next goal). They were dancing that day! Actually, so was I. Last year we rarely sustained a Read to Self for longer than 15 minutes with about 12 minutes our average. The children soon got into the routine and never really took much notice of how long we were reading for. As the year progresses, they change their goals to “how many sight words they know” or “what level book they are reading”. One thing that never changes though is the look of pure joy on their faces when I say, “Today in Read to Self, I would like to read with you”. If nothing else, I love the Daily 5 because it gives me 10 minutes to just sit quietly (uninterrupted) with one of my children and enjoy the process of learning to read. That brings me to my conferencing and record keeping. I will cover that in another post as I have quite a lot to share on that topic too.